This year featured the Top Three Inspiring Responsible Tourism Stories at ITB Asia. These stories told the tale of what operators have done for the destination and local community These stories motivated others to innovate new ideas in their destination.
A degraded rural landscape transformed into lush wildlife sanctuary, a resort fully committed to the development and success of the local community, and a courageous project to train and empower community members to work towards responsible tourism. These three Inspiring Responsible Tourism (RT) Stories were presented at the Responsible Tourism Event at ITB Asia on October 21.
This year Wild Asia and The Blue Yonder set out to find the most inspiring RT Stories from around Asia. These stories were chosen in order to highlight exceptional examples of responsible tourism and have them inspire tour operators and hotels that embracing responsible practices is possible.
A judging panel comprised of members from Wild Asia, The Blue Yonder, The Green Circuit, and ITB Asia, carefully reviewed over 15 stories that were submitted from Asia. The panel of judges scored the stories on how inspirational their RT practices are and their potential for others to replicate these practices or take the experience and learning to be applied elsewhere.
The judges deliberated and three stories blew the judges away that they decided on a tie! The winners for the most inspiring stories were:
LooLa Adventure Resort
LooLa Adventure Resort started operating in June of 2000 on the island of Bintan, Indonesia. The owner, Dr. Marc van Loo, vowed from the beginning to have a fully local staff and to involve them in all aspects of management. It has been a long road towards incorporating a full team of local staff and inspiring them to become proud stakeholders of the project. Over the years Loola has been very successful in incorporating the local community, creating pride among their staff and supporting local community development projects.
Read Loola's full story here.
Shergarh Tented Camp at Kanha Tiger Reserve
Shergarh Tented Camp opened in 2004 and was established as a small and informal tented camp with a strong focus on high quality wildlife experiences, and with a deep concern for the environment and local community. The project all started with the vision to build a simple lodge from which tourists could enjoy the nearby Kanha Tiger Reserve. The plan began with purchasing a degraded plot of non-native eucalyptus plantation, then restoring the area back to original native woodland and a haven for wildlife. Shergarh Tented Camp supports the local community and has always drawn upon local skills, materials and services for their business. The owners Katie, Jehan and their two children reside there and have become a close as family with the local community, who in turn help them to run many aspects of the camp.
Read Shergarh's full story here.
Travel Foundation Sri Lanka
The Travel Foundation has come together with the Responsible Tourism Partnership of Sri Lanka for an important project to minimise hassle for tourists and create opportunities for local communities to make a living from tourism, by providing quality services to tourists. Hotels in Sri Lanka received a high volume of complaints from tourists about the 'hassle' from vendors on the beach, known locally as 'beach boys'. The project aimed to provide customer service training to beach operators in Sri Lanka since 2008, improving their income from tourism and empowering locals to take pride in their work.
Download their presentation here.
Congratulations to the top 3 winners for their efforts in responsible tourism, and inspiring others to embrace a different kind of travel; one that incorporates responsibility towards the earth and local people.
Sorry. We've been getting a lot of junk comments lately. So commenting has been turned off for now